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October 29, 1971

Report by KGB Chairman Andropov on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

Top Secret


Committee for State Security
Council of Ministers


29 October 1971
No. 2739-A

29 October 1971
To be returned to CPSU CC
General Department
300 A/3





The Committee for State Security in cooperation with the security services of the People’s Republic of Poland and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic has carried out a number of measures to expose radio stations Liberty and Free Europe as centers of ideological subversion, whose activities against the USSR and other socialist countries are funded and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA.


The measures undertaken have disoriented, to a certain degree, the activities of these radio stations and created an uncertain and nervous environment among their employees. According to the data available, the US government is delaying the confirmation of a financial estimate for Free Europe and Liberty and is financing them temporarily through the United States Information Agency (USIA).


The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States is implementing measures to cover up its involvement with the radio stations. It has already been decided, for example, to assign staff within the “Committee of Radio Liberty” to a special projects unit that will from now on operate under the title of “Bedford Publications” conducting espionage against the USSR.


At the same time, the CIA and the management of the radio station Free Europe and Liberty are adopting measures to enhance the activities of editorial boards and other departments of [the] radio stations, and to facilitate the use of more flexible and sophisticated types and methods of ideological subversion.


In May 1971, new directives on the preparation of political programs were sent to radio station Liberty by the editorial board and the president of Radio Liberty. Underlining that radio station Liberty must remain the “voice” of emigrants from the Soviet Union and the “trumpet” of all discontented elements in the USSR, the new directive calls on the radio station to assist discontented elements in their “desire to be free from the dictatorial regime,” to disseminate their “seditious” views, and to be in charge of their activities.


Radio station Free Europe has developed a plan of propagandist actions that focuses on programs designed to undermine trust among socialist countries. In community with intent to discredit the main principles of socialism in the eyes of the particular, the plan provides for a series of public speeches on major aspects of the expansion of the socialist working class.


The central theme of these programs, as intended by the adversary [memorandum], is to compromise the governmental apparatus, security services and the office of the public prosecutor, setting them off against one another as “separate groups of senior government officials and specific employees of the government.” In order to make the programs of Free Europe seem trustworthy, they will be structured to show that evidence obtained against certain individuals comes from the radio station’s agents affiliated with government offices in socialist countries.


The Committee for State Security also received information that radio stations Free Europe and Liberty intend to use the upcoming Olympic Games in 1972 in Munich as a backdrop for conducting subversive activities against Soviet athletes and tourists. For these purposes, radio station Liberty launched special courses to train emigrants and deserters in how to make contact with the Soviet citizens, gain information from them, and talk them into not returning to the USSR.


The Committee for State Security continues to implement measures aimed at revealing the truth about the espionage and subversive activities of the afore-mentioned centers to the Soviet and international community.


CHairman of tHe Committee for state seCuritY


[signed] Andropov


A report from KGB Chairman Andropov to the Central Committee of the CPSU assessing the status of Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe in their “transition” period and measures that might be taken to weaken them. It alleges that RFE and RL are planning subversive actions against the USSR at the Munich Olympics. It credits the Soviet bloc intelligence services with increasing the problems of the Radios. The document indicates timely KGB knowledge of internal RL documents such as the March 15, 1971 revision of the Radio Liberty Policy Manual.

Document Information


Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.


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